Well it's a fact the future of your leadership will be determined by the quality of your decisions my goal is to help you grow to make even better leadership decisions today is part two of The Art of strategic decision making in the last episode we discussed the truth that the quality of your.
Decisions determines the quality of your lives the problem is that many of us are not great decision makers right the good news is this that decision making is a skill in other words it can be developed you can get better at the skill of decision-making so to strengthen our decision-making muscles we're talking about the eight factors of great.
Decision makers now if you haven't heard the first episode I recommend you stop go catch that one first and then join us again if you already heard the first one we will review the first of the eight fact factors and then we'll finish them off today uh Factor number one of the best decision makers as often as possible number one we're going to avoid.
Either or scenarios number two we're actually going to make an appointment with oursel we're going to decide when we're going to decide number three I recommend that sometimes you need to become your own personal adviser number four we delegate as many decisions as possible and if we're delegating a lot of decisions then number five we have to.
Increase our tolerance for mistakes let's take on new information today number six I'm going to encourage you to trust the data and trust your gut trust the data and trust your gut now you may say that sounds contradictory and on the surface you're absolutely right but after diving deeper you're going to discover that these two ideas trust the.
Data and your gut they're actually complimentary now why do we trust the data why do we trust the facts why do we trust the numbers there is a famous quote someone said your intellect may be confused but your emotions never lie to you may I say respectfully no disrespect to the author of the quote but that's one of the dumbest quotes ever right uh.
You need data and you need facts and you need numbers and you need timely information but because you're an emotional being your emotions lie to you all the time right your emotions tell you sometimes you should yell or your emotions tell you you should just quit that'll show them or you should cuss or you should eat the whole thing and as.
Leaders we must ruthlessly guard against emotional responses and what um experts call cognitive biases uh now I talked a lot about cognitive biases in my book winning the war in your mind change your thinking change your life but I'll give you a brief review what is a cognitive bias a cognitive bias is a systematic error in thinking when your brain.
Wrongly filters information through your personal experiences and preferences it's an error in thinking you're basically taking what you think you know what you've experienced and your brain wrongly processes the information and there are dozens of cognitive biases um one of the most common and dangerous cognitive biases is what's just known as.
The confirmation bias what is the confirmation bias this is the tendency to search for and interpret information in a way that confirms your previous preconceptions how would this play out you might have several options to choose from in an important decision and you know one that you want to choose so because you want to choose it you.
Actually look for evidence that supports your preference you you filter everything and say oh maybe I should do this because that's what you want to do it's a dangerous bias uh it's your emotions Playing Tricks on you another bias is called the status quo bias and that's when you prefer what's known over the unknown even when the alternative.
Options are objectively better we've all been there right the status quo bias drives you to be afraid of change and it actually creates a cealing on organizational progress uh I'll give you another one there's the anchoring bias what is the anchor in bias it's when you place too much weight on the first information you received about the.
Subject I found that I'm actually vulnerable to this someone gets to me first and they're loud and they're confident and so I may not listen as objectively or consider counterarguments because the first person seems so convincing now this may sound obvious but we need the right information to make the right decisions and there's the.
Old saying you've heard it before and that is you don't know know what you don't know so what do you do well you study the data start with the numbers study the numbers internalize the numbers the numbers don't lie then ask questions to your team members and listen now that you may say well like who exactly do I listen to and I would.
Say not just your top leaders in fact more often than not you're going to want to listen to the people closest to the problem or the opportunity sometimes the leaders in the corner office they really um are clueless as to what's really going on in the organization so you don't want to just listen to those that are nearest to you want to go deep in.
Your organization find the people on the front lines that are actually dealing with the issues and listen to them whenever I do that and ask questions of people that are deeply involved I'm always shocked at all the things that I don't know about what they're facing and when I do know it helps me to be better informed and makes better decision now.
Once you've done the hard work and you studied the data and you've analyze the numbers and you've listen to people then trust your gut analyze the data and trust your gut and many leaders don't recognize that trusting your gut is actually more scientific than not why because your gut it draws on it reads it interprets both objective and subjective.
Information especially if you're a seasoned leader if you've been in your role for three years five years or more um your gut is generally not just a quick reaction it's more of a cultivated and it's more nuanced based on years of experience for example I've been in Ministry for almost three and a half decades that means I'm pretty old now I.
Can walk into any Life Church campus there's 45 of them I can walk in on a Sunday morning during church and it's crazy but I can determine within minutes what's working and What needs Improvement I can feel it I can sense it small details jump out and it's almost like they're shouting at me and this isn't because I've got super spiritual.
Powers it's not because I'm smarter than anybody else it's because I've made hundreds of visits over the years and over time I come to recognize um that my gut my intuition it does three things what does my intuition do number one it recognizes patterns number two it connects experiences and number three it processes is subconsciously let me say.
These again because what happens is once you've been in the game for a while you kind of go I'm just feeling and sensing and this just seems uh what's happening internally you're recognizing patterns you've seen this before and so intuitively you're thinking this is probably what's going to happen next um you're connecting experiences he said.
This and she said that and I saw this and intuitively you're connecting those experiences uh you're processing subconsciously you don't know it but your mind is working on all that you've heard seen and EXP experienced and it's spitting out what's often a very very wise choice or decision why does it work this way because your brain is excellent.
At recognizing patterns um even the patterns that you don't consciously perceive you can just kind of feel it and you almost connect experiences at this deep level because your brain has accumulated a wealth of knowledge and experience over time and it's just processing the information subconsciously so behind the scenes.
Right now you're got some decision make and your brain is working right now on a problem or a decision and then one day the solution emerges as a gut feeling and it's often surprisingly brilliant um it's almost impossible to explain but if I go and meet with a church campus staff so we have 45 of them and there would be a team of like seven team members to 20.
Depending on the size of the campus uh I have them ask me questions I walk into a meeting and they ask questions and I can accurately obs assess the health of that organization after the first three questions just by the questions that they ask because I've done it over and over and over again and I can intuitively feel with a high degree of.
Accuracy what's happening that's right and what needs to be adjusted the same is true when I greet church members in the lobby When I visit one of our locations I can tell what's working um and what needs to be improved by the things that they say and more importantly by the things that they don't say and the reason is because I.
Had literally thousands of short conversations at a healthy Church campus um the church members they always mention staff members by name they say oh Pastor Bobby he came to ministered to me when I lost um my my granddad or Sarah U she was really involved in my life they they mention staff members by name at a struggling campus they rarely.
Mention staff by name at a strong campus they use inclusive language they say oh Pastor Greg I love our church at a developing campus they'll say oh I love your church and these things shout at me you do the same thing you meet someone and you just intuitively think something's not quite right here or you meet someone you say I've got a good.
Feeling about that that's your intuition working it trust the data and study the data and trust your intuition now on a side note uh for those of you that are married and this is a total side note I would say listen to your spouse um there are things that your spouse will see that you don't see they know you better and they care I cannot tell you the.
Number of times where I've been off in One Direction Amy says I don't have a good feeling about this and she was right or she'll say hey I really think you should and she was right now once you observe once you listen once you ask once you absorb once you learn over time your gut becomes a very strategic tool in Wise decision- making so what do you.
Do you do them both you both trust the data and you trust your gut number number seven this is important pred decide as many decisions as possible in fact that is a theme of my new book it's called think ahead seven decisions you can make today for the life that you want tomorrow think ahead pred decide one of the greatest enemies of quality.
Decisions is actually making too many decisions now this is shocking and it's hard to believe I write about it in the book think ahead on average you make a about 35,000 decisions every single day it's almost hard to believe uh and that's why you often make bad decisions because cognitive scientists call this problem.
Decision fatigue what do we know about decision fatigue it's very very real we know this as the volume of your decisions increase the quality of your decisions decrease the more decisions that you make the lesser the quality of your decisions actually become in fact uh the New York Times wrote about a study where they looked at a panel of.
Three parole officers and what this study did is it analyzed 1,00 decisions made by these three officers and what's interesting is they made the same decision 1100 different times their decision was do I approve or deny parole for prisoners so they had 1,00 different um inmates come in and 1100 different times they had to make a decision the.
Result is oneir of the people up for parole were granted parole now here's what's fascinating here's what we discovered the inmates reviewed early in the morning got parole 70% of the time the inmates reviewed late in the day were paroled less than 10% of the time mind-blowing if you showed up at 9:00 in the morning there.
Was a 70% chance that you were going to get out if you showed up at 4:00 in the afternoon there was a 10% chance you're going to get out why because the committee got worn out maybe they were tired of hearing excuses maybe they were just grumpy as the day went on maybe they were hungry at the end of the day maybe they were thinking about getting.
Home with their family whatever it is they were worn out and this is why you can make good decisions all day long at work and then you can come home and explode um at those you love the most or binge eat or binge watch some show you make bad decisions so what is a solution and a solution is you can pre-decide now how do you pred decide and what does.
This mean um in my book think ahead we have a key statement and that is this you will decide now as often as possible you will decide now what you will do later how does this play out for example you may say whenever you're faced with blank you're faced with a certain situation I have pred decided to blank I'll take this action whenever you're.
Faced with this situation I have pred decided to take take this action and then you just fill in the blanks um in some ways what are you doing you're actually automating your decisions um how do you do this where do you start well you're going to start with your values what do you value most start with your values um to determine your values.
You might ask yourself some questions like these um are you primarily people focused or task driven it's a good question are you primarily Comm competitive or collaborative you might ask yourselves more pointed questions like this what qualities do I admire most in others you might ask yourself what do I do that makes me most proud or.
Fulfilled we're going to ask specific questions that will help you determine your values now I want to offer you something that can be very helpful if you want help in determining your values our team has compiled a whole list of questions to guide you toward your leadership your organizational and your core values these questions are included.
In the leader guide if you don't get the Guide go to life. church leadership podcast and we're going to give you an extensive list of questions to help you discover your values start with your values why why do your values matter so much in decision-making because when your values are clear your decisions are easy this is super important when you're.
More clear about what you value what you stand for it brings Clarity to the decisions that you make how does this play out um you might say because I value relationships with people whenever I greet a coworker I'll always lead with a question and listen before I speak what are you doing you're saying whenever I'm faced with this situation I.
Interact with somebody I have pred decided I will lead with a question and I'll listen before I say something or you might say like I value good stewardship and my marriage um we're going to be wise our finances and we're going to have good communication so you pred decide whenever I'm considering making a purchase over you tell me how.
Much $100 $300 whatever it is for you whenever I'm going to make a purchase over this amount I'll always talk to my spouse and wait three days before making a decision or 5 days or 30 minutes whatever it would be for you but when I face this situation on this purchase I've pred decided this will be my action or you might say because I value my.
Health um and I want to eat better there's a problem though I tend to eat whatever is available I've have pred decided to always have these snacks available and that's something for me always in my drawer I've got the snacks I want always stocked there because I eat what's available so I pred decided that's what I want to eat if someone.
Asks to meet with you your values may determine your response you may pred decide I don't take meetings during certain blocks of time because that's my decision-making time or my brainstorming time or when I'm most creative or you might pred decide my meetings don't last more than an hour if you want to meet with me we're going to block off for an.
Hour or based on your values um one person asked for a meeting and you say I'm going to drop everything a meet immediately or you've got different values you're going to say hey except for emergencies I don't take meetings in the week that people request I'm proactively designing my week I'm not going to be reactive to what other.
People want but your response is determined by your values and so when you face a certain situation you pred decided a certain action in the book think ahead we talk about seven specific decisions you can make today for the life you want tomorrow it is written from a Christian perspective so I want to be clear with that but I believe the.
Book can really help you to make some decisions ahead of time that'll make you more effective in the future why because one of your greatest leadership tools to master the art of strategic decision-making is to pre pred decide to think ahead to decide now what you will do later so today we talked about trusting the data and trusting your gut.
They seem like they are um counter ideas but they're actually complimentary we talked about pred deciding as many decisions as possible and number eight if you'll allow me um because of my faith if you'll allow me to speak from a spiritual perspective I would say this number eight you're faced with a decision do what's right and trust God.
With the results do what's right and trust God with the results I'll shoot very straight with you as a leader you're going to have some very very difficult decisions to make and your decisions matter so much your decisions can impact a lot of people um whatever you choose impacts your time and your family and your.
Financial future your reputation your integrity your legacy your decisions impact not just you but your decisions impact your team uh your DEC decisions can make their lives better or you can make their lives worse you can make their workplace a place they want to be or place they'd rather not be and what we know about your decisions is this you.
Can make your decisions but you cannot control the outcome you can do what you think is right but even though you do what you think is right it doesn't guarantee the outcome that you want and you can't control how people are going to respond so what do you do you do the hard work you study you ask the questions and.
If you're a person of Faith like I am you can pray and you can ask God for wisdom uh the number one prayer request I have is God give me wisdom and scripture says in James 1:5 that if any of you lacks wisdom you should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault it will be given to you God give me wisdom you pray for wisdom.
And then what do you do you make the decision and you trust God with the result now before I wrap up there's so much to learn on this subject I've actually recorded an exclusive bonus episode called discovering your decision making style this is free only to those of you in our leadership community and I'll tell you about the content based on.
My research there are five specific and different styles of decision making and most of you have a dominant style and a secondary decision-making style what are the five styles there's the Lone Wolf decision maker there is the researcher there is the includer there is the consensus Builder and there is the intuitive what I'm going to do in this.
Exclusive episode I'm going to help you discover your decision-making Style I want to help you understand the strengths of your style and manage the weaknesses of your style then I want to help you create a specific plan to grow in the art of strategic decision making now if you're currently receiving our emails and you get the leader guide.
You'll automatically receive this exclusive bonus episode if you don't you can go to life. church decision style life. Church decision style and we'll send that bonus episode to you now why are we obsessing about our decision- making the reason is because this the future of your leadership will be determined by the quality of your.
Decisions so we have titles at our workplace right like may maybe you have the CEO or the CFO or the co o I'm going to give you a new title what are you you are the cdmo okay you are the chief decisionmaking officer of your future you're in control you can choose today the life that you want tomorrow you can choose today the leadership impact that.
You want to have tomorrow so let's start deciding and chances are as you do you're going to be like me um you'll likely be afraid of making an imperfect decision what if I make a decision that's not right here's a little secret and that is very few decisions are ever perfect this is a challenge I want you to remember this the pursuit of wise.
Decisions will Propel you forward but the pursuit of perfect decisions will eventually limit you if you find yourself asking like which option is best let me give you a little secret this is really important which option is best sometimes even often the option you believe in the most is the option that's going to be the best let me say it again.
Uh what do I do I've got this option this they both seem pretty good which one's best often the one that you believe in the most and I always tell our team this I'd rather see full commitment to a decent plan than minimal commitment to a strong one I want to see Full buyin if you really really really believe in it you're going to bring your.
All so commit and give it your all why does it matter matter because whenever we see anything new anything Innovative or anything effective you know someone made a courageous Faith filled decision one more time you see something that's praiseworthy you see something that's making a big difference you see something that is a breakthrough idea.
You know somewhere somebody made a courageous Faith filled decision so somebody's going to build something special someone's going to impact a lot of people someone is going to make a big difference it might as well be you work on the wisdom of strategic decision- making get better and make a difference where you are I want to say thank you.
For being a part of our leadership Community I'm going to work hard to bring you content that helps you grow if you can help others be a part uh that would mean a lot to me share on social media we may repost it and I want to tell you uh you can think ahead right now you can make decisions today that will impact the future of your.
Leadership tomorrow and today you just did that you thought ahead to get better to grow in your leadership to get a little bit better and is great news because we know that everyone wins when the leader gets better